Fake Football often coincides with Real Football. I’d say at the very least 99.9% of the time this is a fact. And real football starts Thursday September 5th with a rematch of the 2012 AFC Divisional playoff game. That’s not too shabby. And that will be the beginning of the real fake football season as well. Yeah, weird, I know. So we have just 10 days of prime draftable time! It is go time people!
What I want to do here is give you a rundown of draft resources and a few guys I like that may be had at value.
Mock Draft Simulator: This is my favorite way to get myself ready for a draft. I can input the settings and pick my draft position and run 2 or 3 quick simulations using a couple different strategies. This gets my drafting muscle memory on point for that particular setting/slot and it works.
Fantasy Pros Draft Assistant: This one costs a few shekels, but for my money it’s the most helpful tool out there. You enter your league URL into the system and the assistant synchs into the draft. It will then mark off players as they’re drafted and show you who is most likely to go next and who the consensus experts like. I create my own rankings and tiers and use them with the assistant. It makes things so easy and you never feel like you are rushed into making a poor choice. It takes some preparation, but it is completely worth it.
Drafting Tiers: Another good way to draft is to print out our Drafting Tiers. We have them for PPR and Standard Leagues. If I’m doing a live draft these are my bible.
Ask Us Questions: We try our hardest to get to any and all questions asked in the comments. So if you have a question for a specific person you should ask in one of their posts and if you don’t care who answers, ask in the “Ask Our Writers” page and we’ll see if Cricket from Always Sunny is available.
Get Strategic: There are plenty of strategies to follow, but you have to find the one that feels right to you. Here are a few:
Sending out a SOS — Strength of Schedules
There are no “sleepers” anymore, that’s just the facts jack. But there are players going later in the draft with upside to finish the season with fake football value. Here are just a few of my guys.
Kenbrell Thompkins: Yeah, the cat’s out of the bag on Thompkins. I was on Aaron Dobson early and he just couldn’t win the job. Guess who did? Ol’ KenThom, no? Anyway, Thompkins has looked great this preseason. He’s running hard, making good cuts in his routes, running well after the catch and looks like he’s on the same page of the offense as Tom Brady, which is where you want to be. I don’t know how high his ADP will rise by the time I post this, but it’s going to have to really get out of hand for me to pass. Patriots and offense are synonymous and if you are a starter you have to be drafted.
Roy Helu: Alfred Morris may not be “injury prone,” but he’s a running back who carries the ball a whole bunch right between the tackles. Oh, and he doesn’t catch passes. So in comes Roy Helu who catches passes and will be waiting for Morris to get hurt for the possibility of even more touches coming his way. His upside is as an every down back in a very good rushing offense. For his price I like that.
Ladarius Green: Can you trust Antonio Gates to stay healthy? Yes, that is a rhetorical question. Once again we are hearing all the good things about Gates this preseason, but once again he won’t live up to the hype now that his body can’t take the rigors of a full season. That’s when Green comes in. The Chargers are hurting at wide receiver with no true number one and some awful curse that destroys all their wide receivers lives and careers. Green is a physical specimen that could become a top target in that offense as the season progresses.
Markus Wheaton: The Steelers don’t have a true #1 wide receiver right now. Yes Antonio Brown is going to get a ton of targets and he’s good with the ball after the catch. I like him a lot in PPR leagues, but he’s not a red zone hawk. Wheaton will fight for targets with Emmanuel Sanders and should win.
Josh Gordon: Don’t let that two game suspension deter you, let in coax you into drafting him. Gordon has #1 wide receiver upside, especially in a Norv Turner run offense. Who cares if at the end of the season he’s not ranked as high as he could be. You are getting him at such a discount in drafts right now it far outweighs those two missed games which you already drafted starters for. And as long as you’ve drafted well enough to make the playoffs, you could have a WR 1 or 2 for the price of a WR 4.
Tony Romo: Well, he’s not a sleeper, but I’ll beat this dead horse until it reanimates. You can get Romo in the seventh round and he has never finished out of the top 10 after a healthy 16 game season. Oh and he has Dez Bryant on his team.
Marcel Reece: Darren McFadden is fragile and Latavius Murray is hurting and Rashad Jennings has limited ability while Reece is a man of many skills. Receiving is his forte, but blocking and rushing are up there. In an offense with little to get excited about, Reece could be the go to guy for stability.
Rueben Randle: Randle has a lot of ability and two receivers ahead of him who are hurting or often get hurt. The Giants offense is not a thing of beauty sometimes, but it puts up a good amount of production. Randle as the #1 or 2 in that offense would be a top play and there’s little doubt he’ll have his opportunities this season.
Julius Thomas: Yes, the Broncos have three top-notch receivers for Manning to look toward before he would ever get to Thomas, but remember that it doesn’t take all that much for a tight end to be fantasy worthy and with Thomas’s size and ability, coupled with the Broncos speeding up their tempo and the defense losing Von Miller for a while, they will need to score and they will.